The final two weeks of October were very eventful for the students of grade 6, who met face-to-face with their buddies from Tokyo’s Tamagawa Gakuen during a trip to Francis Beach at Half Moon Bay. Later that day, the entire group visited Lemos Farm for some Halloween-themed fun, including a rousing romp through a haunted house.
Tamagawa students spent Oct. 20-22 at the Blackford campus attending class sessions to observe as well as participate, and took part in special art, dance and drama classes. They also had great fun touring the Exploratorium and its many engaging exhibits with their Harker buddies. While visiting San Francisco, they enjoyed lunch at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge. Friday evening was spent at a special barbecue dinner hosted by the Gauba family (Alexis, grade 6; Ashley, grade 2). Over the weekend, the Tamagawa students played laser tag and had dinner as a group.
The Harker grade 6 class spent the week of Oct. 25 taking in the natural beauty of Yosemite National Park, while their Tamagawa buddies also explored the park as a separate group. The travelers, which included chaperones Chris Nikoloff, head of school, Cindy Ellis, middle school division head and Susan Moling, middle school Spanish teacher, arrived safely on Monday and enjoyed the “clear blue skies,” said Ellis, who phoned in her daily reports due to limited Internet access. “The night sky was full of brilliant stars and the moon shone brightly throughout the night.”
Everyone made sure to get plenty of rest for Tuesday’s hike to Vernal Falls, which were highly active due to rainfall during the previous week, which also fed the rushing Merced River. Nikoloff accompanied Moling’s group to Glacier Point to witness some of the most spectacular views Yosemite has to offer. Tuesday was a special day for the students, who met up with their Tamagawa buddies at the Boystown amphitheater. Harker students gave some brief speeches to show their appreciation for the Tamagawa visit, and the Tamagawa students sang a song bidding their Harker friends farewell before they departed for Japan the following day. That evening, the Harker students embarked on a night hike beneath the star-filled sky.
Ellis checked in on Oct. 28 to report that everyone was “having a blast.” Hiking was the order of the day for the students, who enjoyed a campfire that evening to recuperate and reflect on the trip. The students returned to the Blackford campus at about 5:30 p.m. on Friday, just in time to enjoy the long weekend and the Halloween festivities.